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Alpha_Mutt
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Posted: September 21 2007 at 9:19pm | IP Logged Quote Alpha_Mutt

Reloading manuals usually have a table ranking powders with respect to burn rate. How is this information useful?

So far I am only reloading 45ACP and 9mm. I have tried several powders for the 45 and prefer Clays. My 9mm experience consists of 4k of 9mm all with Win 231 and I like the results. Both of these appear to be pretty "fast" powders but what is to be gained by using faster or slower ones?
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JoeJack
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Posted: September 21 2007 at 10:59pm | IP Logged Quote JoeJack

From my experience, fast burning powders are good when you have a lightweight bullet fired out of a short barreled firearm such as a pistol and when used for target shooting or plinking.
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Slick
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 1:53am | IP Logged Quote Slick

JoeJack wrote:
From my experience, fast burning powders are good when you have a lightweight bullet fired out of a short barreled firearm such as a pistol and when used for target shooting or plinking.


Exactly! and slower powder tend to work better with heaviery bullets. That being said - I get amazing resulting loading Unique behind all weights of bullets in 9mm (for performance rounds) but prefer WW231 and Bullseye for standard and lighter loads.

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Rocky Raab
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 6:32am | IP Logged Quote Rocky Raab

Burn rate charts allow you to find a powder that is as usable or better for a given job than another. As an example, let's say you are loading rifle rounds and find that the powder you are using completely fills the case but still gives disappointing velocity and apparently low pressures. Knowing this indicates a powder that's too slow for that application, you can look at a burn rate chart and find another powder just on the faster side of yours as a likely replacement.

Note that you can NOT interpolate charge weight or load info from a burn rate chart because the "steps" between listed powders are not equal. Two adjacent powders on the chart may be very close in burn rate or far apart, but there don't happen to be any other powders between them.

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stuffit
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 6:47am | IP Logged Quote stuffit

There are many subtle variances in utilizing burn rate charts, some of which are almost semi-intuitive among reloaders of long experience. Perhaps one of the most important is that small increments of weight variation, particularly with regard to small increases, can result in disproportionately large increments of pressure increases, sometimes to dangerous levels. Especially in regard to traditional "pistol" powders at the "faster" end of the spectrum, there is much less safty margin for weighing or measuring variances.

stuffit

Edited by stuffit on September 22 2007 at 6:48am


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jfh
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 7:06am | IP Logged Quote jfh

As I worked up those 357-lite loads we talked about in that other thread, I found AA#7 to be unusually low-recoiling, and very smooth. I wanted to test a Vitavhori powder, and I noted that V.N350 is "next to" #7 on the burn rate chart, so I got in some 3N37 (on the Speer Short Barrel data sheets, and their recommended load for 1000fps in 2" Magnums) and N350.

Using Vita data for both cases, I was surprised to find N350 did not 'feel' at all like #7, but much more like AA#5. It also uses a charge weight more like Power Pistol. It certainly is clean-burning, and shoots to the same POA over a broader range of weight than, for example, Power Pistol.

If any of you can add some more comments about my experience above, I'd appreciate it; I don't want to divert, BTW, just glean what I can about burn rates.

Jim H.



Edited by jfh on September 22 2007 at 8:18am
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 8:12am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

Some powders can be slower burning and also take up less case volume and some faster burning and take up more volume. It sometimes helps to load a bulky powder for light loads that nearly fills the case. Increased accuracy can result because of a decrease in velocity variation. In the case of light loads in a 357 case, using very fast powders that take up less space, the rounds can produce a wide spread in velocity when one round is fired after the gun is pointed down before firing and the next round is pointed up before firing. The objective, of course, is to get consistent pressure and therefore consistent velocity from round to round. I hope I have explained this in a way that is not confusing. One has to either read about the makeup of all the powders or actually have a little hands on to understand how they perform. Ball powders are usually denser and take up less space and extruded are just the opposite. Flake powders usually make up the middle. There are exceptions of course. It is best to just follow along with others recommendations till one gets a good feel for what powders are out there and what they do. If you follow the charts and consider what other's experiences have produced you should be able to keep all your fingers.

By the way I am sure that you are trying to keep all other factors as consistent as possible, such as case brand, primer type and brand, case length, bullet seating depth and consistent crimp, etc. Good luck with your reloading. I have had many hobbies over the years, but reloading is one that I have never gotten tired of. I still enjoy it very much. Once again, good luck to you, have fun, and always ask questions when in doubt. Others are more than happy to help a fellow reloader out.

Edited by Ham Gunner on September 22 2007 at 8:30am


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CBRick
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Posted: September 22 2007 at 8:28am | IP Logged Quote CBRick

Rocky Raab wrote:
Note that you can NOT interpolate charge weight or load info from a burn rate chart because the "steps" between listed powders are not equal. Two adjacent powders on the chart may be very close in burn rate or far apart, but there don't happen to be any other powders between them.


In addition, different case capacity, bullet weight, bullet tension, chamber dimensions and who knows what else all play a role in a powders burn characteristics or <burn rate>.

Burn rate charts are a useful guide for the handloader but it is important to remember, they are a "guide" and not a loading manual just as Rocky mentioned.

Using several burn rate charts (because every one of them varies somewhat) and a chronograph multiplies the usefulness of both the burn charts and the chrono.

Rick
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amlevin
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Posted: September 24 2007 at 5:37pm | IP Logged Quote amlevin

I use the "Burn Rate" charts merely for fine tuning. From a short barrel rifle I might want a faster burning powder in order to minimize the amount of powder fouling in the gas tube and bolt (AR's). For a similar velocity with the same bullet, I might choose the faster burn rate.

Of course, my barrel is only 11.5" long (with a 4.5" flash supressor) so slow powders just make for a nice big "fireball".

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Ham Gunner
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Posted: August 15 2010 at 10:05am | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I ran across this rate chart recently and would like to toss it out for others comparison and use. Of course with plenty of new powders being brought out lately, some of the newer ones are not on the list.

Reload Bench Burn Rate Chart

Edited by Ham Gunner on August 15 2010 at 2:39pm


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Paul5388
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Posted: August 16 2010 at 5:29pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

If you compare this chart file:///C:/Users/Paul/Documents/My%20Documents/Handloading%2 0manuals/burnchart.php.html with the other one, you'll notice 800X and SR 4756 are in different places on the chart. IMR says 800X is faster than SR4756 and the other chart says the opposite.

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lovesrugers
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Posted: August 16 2010 at 8:22pm | IP Logged Quote lovesrugers

Hey Paul I think you tried to link to a file on your computer.
Jerry
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Paul5388
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Posted: August 16 2010 at 9:29pm | IP Logged Quote Paul5388

I sure did. Here's the online version. http://www.imrpowder.com/burn-rate.html

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ArchAngelCD
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Posted: August 20 2010 at 2:43am | IP Logged Quote ArchAngelCD

Wow, this 3 year old thread was pulled from the Abyss LOL.

I find the IMR/Hodgdon burn rate charts to be different from most of the others on the NET for some unknown reason. I also find it very strange the IMR chart and the Hodgdon chart is different from each other. You would think since Hodgdon is now handling all the Hodgdon/IMR/Winchester powders the burn rate charts would match... At least the IMR and Winchester data matches.
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adirondakjack
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Posted: August 20 2010 at 2:32pm | IP Logged Quote adirondakjack

One think worthy of note: Not only do powders vary in burn rate, but how the burn PROGRESSES during the firing process, and how that PROGRESSIVE CURVE is effected by case capacity, caliber, bullet weight, etc. NO commonly used powder has a "linear" progression. They all have a curve that is sorta banana shaped, where the more pressure created (influenced by case capacity and bullet weight), the faster they end up burning, creating even more pressure, burning even faster, a cat chasing it's tail ever faster until the powder is all consumed or the bullet moves along far enough for pressures to recede.

In other words, it's pretty complicated, and the books are published for a reason. Stray too far from the beaten path, there are dragons waiting for a crispy treat, ketchup in hand ;)

Edited by adirondakjack on August 20 2010 at 2:34pm
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: August 23 2010 at 4:13pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I think I like this chart better than the old one from the Reload Bench. It is a bit more up to date. I have not really compared it to others as to the order of powders listed, but it is a useful chart.

Another Burn Rate Chart

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NRA_life
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Posted: October 29 2010 at 7:13pm | IP Logged Quote NRA_life

Has anyone seen a powder chart that compares such things as how well it meters, how dirty it burns, how consistent it shoots along with any other useful comparison information rather than only the burn rate?

Edited by NRA_life on October 29 2010 at 7:14pm


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Alpha_Mutt
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Posted: October 29 2010 at 9:11pm | IP Logged Quote Alpha_Mutt

NRA_life wrote:
Has anyone seen a powder chart that compares such things as how well it meters, how dirty it burns, how consistent it shoots along with any other useful comparison information rather than only the burn rate?


I have not seen such a chart, and I wonder how one would go about evaluating "cleanness" in a consistent way. I think we all recognize that some powders are cleaner than others but I am not sure how I'd do such an experiment.

FWIW, Clays is the cleanest burning powder I have found, and also meters very poorly through a Dillon 650.
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johnd39
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Posted: November 02 2010 at 4:16pm | IP Logged Quote johnd39

Another powder characteristic I never heard of till recently - corrosiveness. Is there a list for that? Embarassingly, I bought some 45 acp jacketed reloads from a friend's widow a few years back and filed them away. Found and shot a couple of dozen 6 weeks back, and then put the gun away for a month. Surprise! My barrel and chamber are heavily rusted. No way I can find out what was in the reloads, but later (naturally) another guy mentioned that the dear departed's loads might be hard on the barrel. Any ideas how or why?
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adirondakjack
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Posted: November 02 2010 at 4:20pm | IP Logged Quote adirondakjack

Corrosive ammo was not because of powder, but was due to the priming compound used until about the mid 1950s (and later in some countries). Old military stuff still floating around is corrosive primed. I've got some 1950s .45 ammo myself and never shot it for that very reason. That stuff ya almost gotta clean the gun before leaving the range, and certainly before day's end.

Edited by adirondakjack on November 02 2010 at 4:22pm
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